Actors Ruffalo, Winger Call for Ban on Hydrofracking

Albany, NY – Gas-drilling opponents including actors Mark Ruffalo and Debra Winger have called for a ban on gas development using hydraulic fracturing at a state hearing on drilling regulations. WAMC's Dave Lucas has more...

As the hearing began Wednesday, the New York state Department of Environmental Conservation said the comment period on its proposed regulations has been extended from December 12 to January 11.

Fears of contamination of New York City's watershed prompted a moratorium on drilling permits in 2008, when the state began a review of regulations.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, injects millions of gallons of chemical-laced water into a well to release gas. Opponents fear accidents and contamination, while the industry touts its safety record.

If the regulations are enacted, drilling in the Marcellus Shale in upstate New York could begin next year.

Dave Lucas, WAMC News.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.